The Toledo Rockets have taken the NCAA by storm this year, mostly because the amount of points they put up create a margin that is too big to overcome for opponents. The Cincinnati Bearcats had a tough time stopping the short passing game of Toledo and ended up losing because they could not force any punts or turnovers.
The Bearcats have a handful of defensive prospects but the two most notable (DE/OLB Walter Stewart and CB Dominique Battle) did not play; they could’ve had a huge impact on the outcome of this game. With those two mid-round picks out, Cincinnati still had 2 players worth looking at in safety Drew Frey and receiver Kenbrell Thompkins. Toledo, on the other hand, only had safety Jermaine Robinson, but he made quite the impact.
MDD Staff Scout: Alex Farnworth
#26 SS Drew Frey
-Very slow in man coverage
-Doesn’t play the ball in the air, tries to make sure he takes down the receiver rather than deflect the pass
-Creeps up on rushing downs, able to make solo tackles on bigger backs
-Gets caught creeping up too often, opposing team takes notices resulting in shots down the field
-Becomes a key part of the defense against the short passes, comes up to help on the screens and is a sure tackler
-Waits to see the play develop, then makes a decision on his approach
-Has stiff hips when in man coverage, needs to loosen up and stay on the receiver’s hip
-Does a good job of keeping his feet under him, doesn’t lunge at tackles
-Struggles to break through the line on goal line formations, stands up straight and doesn’t generate enough strength to get through
Overview: Drew Frey showed his ups and downs throughout this matchup. Frey’s strengths are in defending the run game but he wasn’t able to showcase that against this quick-passing Toledo team. Frey was lining up deep throughout the game and was very hesitant in his decisions because he didn’t want to get burned. On rushing downs (2nd and 2, 3rd and 1, etc.), Frey would creep up and he would sometimes be rewarded but other times get toasted. The 6th year senior really needs to work on his man coverage and his movements in the pass game if he wants to be taken seriously as a draft prospect, he is not fast… or a ball hawk, so scouts will want to see near-flawless mechanics.
#7 WR Kenbrell Thompkins
-Rarely used on third-and-longs
-Utilized as a blocker more than anything else
-Zero targets throughout the first half
-Fails to get separation between him and his matchup
-Gets his first reception with three minutes left in the third quarter, runs a deep hitch on a play action, safety didn’t expect him to be targeted
-Gets his hands inside of the cornerback’s, controls the defenders when blocking
Overview: Each week it seems like Kenbrell Thompkins’ draft stock is dropping; but not all of it is his fault. Cincinnati is mainly zone-option team who likes to utilize the running backs as much as possible. Thompkins doesn’t have elite size (6”1), or speed in order to get the ball in this offense. The good things that show on tape are that he is willing to block and that he is sure-handed when he is thrown to. The bad things are that he is slow in-and-out of his cuts and he can’t do much after the catch. The NFL Combine could very well make or break this Bearcat receiver.
#29 SS Jermaine Robinson
-Lining up at both safety positions and occasionally solo safety throughout the game
-Playing about nine yards away from the line of scrimmage against a running quarterback
-First step is backwards as if he is dropping into a zone but shows ability to regain explosiveness and meet running backs in the backfield
-Wraps the ball carriers around the hips, goes for the safe tackles and not the big hits
-Shades over to the side with more receivers on a passing down, jumps the route up the sideline and scores; shows great awareness
-Does a good job of showing discipline and staying home on QB zone-option reads; doesn’t get caught up in the play-fakes
-Not afraid to take on blockers
-Uses hands well when shedding blocks
-Takes good angles to the ball, aware of how fast the ball carriers are
-Fails to get his arms around the tight end on a TE screen, loses balance and gives up a 20 yard play
-Great at cutting off the running backs on runs up the sideline, lays the lumber on several of these plays
Overview: Safety Jermaine Robinson brought his A-game against a ranked opponent and scouts are going to love what he did against Cincinnati. Although Robinson still looks a little shaky in man coverage, he showed great instinct and was able to read the quarterback all night long. Robinson lined up all over the field for Toledo and showed great speed and discipline when dealing with the play-actions. He also showed that he was both able to make tackles for loss while also being able to read the quarterback and create turnovers in the passing game. Robinson did it all in this matchup but will need to be consistent to keep his stock on the rise. Safeties normally go later in the draft so Robinson is still looking like a late-round pick.